It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am

jjgp1112 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:12 am
Oh yeah, totally forgot that Yu-Gi-Oh aired weekly in the states too, and that show often had WORSE pacing than Dragon Ball with all those 3 or 4 episode duels in the Battle City arc and long 30+ episode filler arcs. Yet it was incredibly successful.
From what I recall it also had a year long filler arc right in the middle of a major story arc. Say what you will about DBZ but it never stopped a story dead to do a completely story for roughly a year.

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by ABED » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:59 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am
jjgp1112 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:12 am
Oh yeah, totally forgot that Yu-Gi-Oh aired weekly in the states too, and that show often had WORSE pacing than Dragon Ball with all those 3 or 4 episode duels in the Battle City arc and long 30+ episode filler arcs. Yet it was incredibly successful.
From what I recall it also had a year long filler arc right in the middle of a major story arc. Say what you will about DBZ but it never stopped a story dead to do a completely story for roughly a year.
Is that true? Oof!
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:05 am

ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:59 am
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am
jjgp1112 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:12 am
Oh yeah, totally forgot that Yu-Gi-Oh aired weekly in the states too, and that show often had WORSE pacing than Dragon Ball with all those 3 or 4 episode duels in the Battle City arc and long 30+ episode filler arcs. Yet it was incredibly successful.
From what I recall it also had a year long filler arc right in the middle of a major story arc. Say what you will about DBZ but it never stopped a story dead to do a completely story for roughly a year.
Is that true? Oof!
I went and double checked. The arc was only 24 episodes. Not nearly as bad as I remembered but that’s still diverging from the story being told to tell a completely different story for half a year before going back to the main story.

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by KBABZ » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:45 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:05 am
ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:59 am
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am


From what I recall it also had a year long filler arc right in the middle of a major story arc. Say what you will about DBZ but it never stopped a story dead to do a completely story for roughly a year.
Is that true? Oof!
I went and double checked. The arc was only 24 episodes. Not nearly as bad as I remembered but that’s still diverging from the story being told to tell a completely different story for half a year before going back to the main story.
That's actually a bit dangerous considering that half a year is long enough for the upper tier of your target audience to grow out of the property through both "this isn't cool anymore" and boredom!

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:53 am

See, this is how I seem to differ from other people in regards to filler. And I can't really say this with any authority because I did not have this experience.* But it seems to me that if I was a kid in Japan and read the Dragon Ball manga regularly... it would be the filler I'd be more excited for! Everything else... I've already seen! It's not new. It's not a surprise. I'd be much more interested in what the animated series did differently than watching a re-enactment of yesterday's news.

*Well, actually, that's not entirely true. I did have the experience to an extent. Due to its skipped over release, I became familiar with the manga summaries and later the manga of a lot of the earlier material far before I ever saw the anime. And when I did watch anime material I'd never seen before, it was definitely the filler I was most excited to see.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:55 am

ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:26 am
MetaMoss wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:44 am
And this is improper use of "retcon" according to....who exactly? Because I found this Usenet post, and:
Proving what? That you can find a post from the person who shortened a term? Do you not see the irony in posting something where said "originator" says flat out "not that I claim to be an authority or anything". And lastly, this is about boiling down the term to its essentials, not appeal to authority.
And this wasn't an appeal to authority?
ABED wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:30 pm
The term was created to define a VERY specific situation.
Because my point was the closest thing I could find to an authority on this (with, admittedly, only about 5 minutes of Googling) wasn't being as strict about it as you are, so what basis do you really have to claim that my usage of "retcon" is improper?

But let's forget Cugley's claim as creator, because I completely agree that he isn't much of an authority, because words tend to evolve beyond their creator's intentions. This Usenet post still tells us that both definitions have been around and in use since at least 1990, and that apparently the debate we're having here also dates back to around then. If both definitions have been used and accepted for that long, I think it's fair to say they're both valid definitions. You're about 30 years too late to be trying to "boil it down to its essentials", especially when you're wrong about what those essentials even were.

Once again, I ask on what basis do you claim that Goku's age change isn't a retcon?
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:09 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:53 am
See, this is how I seem to differ from other people in regards to filler. And I can't really say this with any authority because I did not have this experience.* But it seems to me that if I was a kid in Japan and read the Dragon Ball manga regularly... it would be the filler I'd be more excited for! Everything else... I've already seen! It's not new. It's not a surprise. I'd be much more interested in what the animated series did differently than watching a re-enactment of yesterday's news.

*Well, actually, that's not entirely true. I did have the experience to an extent. Due to its skipped over release, I became familiar with the manga summaries and later the manga of a lot of the earlier material far before I ever saw the anime. And when I did watch anime material I'd never seen before, it was definitely the filler I was most excited to see.
I think filler is fine as long as its obvious they didn’t need time to stall.

To me there’s a huge difference between good filler and bad filler.


The Garlic Jr arc is a popular arc to crap on but it was, at least interesting on paper; an old enemy with a grudge against Gohan returns! And with an MIA Goku it’s up to Gohan, Kuririn, and Piccolo to save the day!

And then you have the Fake Namek arc which couldn’t be any more blatantly obvious than a sad attempt to stall for time. And fake namek was only like...3 episodes? But it’s so much more aggravating.

Filler isn’t bad. It just has to be done right.

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by Gaffer Tape » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:36 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:09 pm
I think filler is fine as long as its obvious they didn’t need time to stall.

To me there’s a huge difference between good filler and bad filler.


The Garlic Jr arc is a popular arc to crap on but it was, at least interesting on paper; an old enemy with a grudge against Gohan returns! And with an MIA Goku it’s up to Gohan, Kuririn, and Piccolo to save the day!

And then you have the Fake Namek arc which couldn’t be any more blatantly obvious than a sad attempt to stall for time. And fake namek was only like...3 episodes? But it’s so much more aggravating.

Filler isn’t bad. It just has to be done right.
I agree with your general principle, but of the examples you listed, I feel the exact opposite. Garlic Jr. is great... on paper. In execution, the majority of it is pretty bland and does very little with its concepts. Fake Namek (which I funnily enough covered in a video today) is one I don't understand the hate for because I absolutely love it. It's so much more imaginative. Hell, it's more imaginative than the actual Namek is. There are hints at a culture. There's varying topography. The adventures are fun. And I enjoy seeing the characters manipulated. The idea is better, and the execution is better than Garlic Jr.

At the end of the day, while I'm cognizant of whether or not I'm being asked to stall for time, what matters to me is whether or not I'm enjoying that time. And I find an acid lakes, bird trees, and rock giants far more interesting than tepid fighting leading to the same conclusion we got in the movie. Actually, in that regard, Garlic Jr. feels like more of a blatant waste of time than Fake Namek does. It's obvious Garlic Jr. was chosen because there wouldn't be any need to establish who he is or what he wants. You can simply recycle movie footage. There's very little that needed to really be written for this. Aside from God meeting his predecessors and the comedy with Maron, everything feels extremely uncreative. I feel much more creativity and passion brimming from Fake Namek. Garlic Jr. feels very much like they desperately needed something, anything to stall for time... and, hey, they desperately did need to right then.
Last edited by Gaffer Tape on Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by KBABZ » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:37 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:09 pm
The Garlic Jr arc is a popular arc to crap on but it was, at least interesting on paper; an old enemy with a grudge against Gohan returns! And with an MIA Goku it’s up to Gohan, Kuririn, and Piccolo to save the day!
Plus it uses the "entire populace is evil" idea WAY before GT would do it!

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:07 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:45 am
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:05 am
ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:59 am
Is that true? Oof!
I went and double checked. The arc was only 24 episodes. Not nearly as bad as I remembered but that’s still diverging from the story being told to tell a completely different story for half a year before going back to the main story.
That's actually a bit dangerous considering that half a year is long enough for the upper tier of your target audience to grow out of the property through both "this isn't cool anymore" and boredom!
Indeed I’m pretty sure that’s around the time I checked out of the show as a kid.

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by TVfan721 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:32 pm

ABED wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 pm
Going back to 1999 in North America though, no, I don't think it would've worked well.
But it did. It was popular in syndication, which is why CN took notice. I think you are looking at this purely from your POV. While filler was talked about back in the 90s, it wasn't nearly as big of a sticking point as it was for many nowadays.
Apples and oranges. That version that was popular in syndication was the Saban dub which was heavily edited and had 13 episodes worth of filler and other footage removed.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:24 am
TVfan721 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:58 pm
I'm mentioning DBZ because of how much it dragged on due to the huge amount of filler. When you take a show like that and break it down to a once a week format, it becomes very hard to watch and stick through. Obviously, it wasn't an issue in Japan and the manga occurring at the same time as the anime played a role in that for sure. Going back to 1999 in North America though, no, I don't think it would've worked well. People would've lost interest and tuned out. If something like Dragon Ball Kai came along in 99 though, with no filler, and tight, fast-paced story telling with no filler, THAT would've worked in a once-a-week format just like it did on Toonzai in 2011. The original DBZ, as great as the high points are, drags on like a motherfucker, and when you split it up in a weekly format, it's unbearable.
Again if fans can wait through months of endless reruns without losing interest they could deal with only getting one new episode a week especially as that would result in less reruns.

You act like USA fans didn’t notice DBZ’s glacier pacing even back then. Not true. Even in the height of the show’s popularity in the US people were well aware that Dragon Ball Z could tend to be Drag-On Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z being a successful Japanese cartoon aimed at grade school boys that aired once a week with copious amounts of filler and padding isn’t even unique to DBZ. See Bleach, Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh, anything under the Shonen label really.
Those shows were never as popular as Dragon Ball Z was at the height of it's popularity. Dragon Ball Z was
a hit with everyone of all demographics and groups. It tapped into something that no other anime has been able to do and it's the reason why it's still a huge franchise 30 years later.

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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by ABED » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:03 pm

TVfan721 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:32 pm
ABED wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 pm
Going back to 1999 in North America though, no, I don't think it would've worked well.
But it did. It was popular in syndication, which is why CN took notice. I think you are looking at this purely from your POV. While filler was talked about back in the 90s, it wasn't nearly as big of a sticking point as it was for many nowadays.
Apples and oranges. That version that was popular in syndication was the Saban dub which was heavily edited and had 13 episodes worth of filler and other footage removed.
So, so many of those edits were imperceptible, especially in the Freeza arc. It's not really apples and oranges. 13 episodes out of 67 is not a whole lot in the scheme of things. 26 episodes to get to the end of the fight against Vegeta was a long haul. If that wasn't going to dissuade 11 year old me, what would? If anything waiting what felt like interminably long waits between seasons, not knowing when or even if we would get another one would be the thing to lower my interest, not a weekly wait that happened like clockwork. A regular schedule would've been nice for the pre-teen me. I wasn't even thinking in terms of seasons. I just watched every week to see whether it was going to be a new one. The internet was in its infancy so sites like wikipedia didn't exist to give up to date information like this.
And this wasn't an appeal to authority?
How was that appeal to authority? I haven't argued on the basis of credentials. I've given an argument about what I think are the essentials and examples. This is such an odd attempt to turn the argument back onto me.
If both definitions have been used and accepted for that long, I think it's fair to say they're both valid definitions. You're about 30 years too late to be trying to "boil it down to its essentials", especially when you're wrong about what those essentials even were.

Once again, I ask on what basis do you claim that Goku's age change isn't a retcon?
The mere fact that two definitions have been around for a while doesn't make them valid. The term came about because comics wanted to bring golden age continuity in to whatever the current continuity was and the audience had to just go with it like it was always the case. No explanation, no in-universe answer, no nothing. Just "shhh, let's pretend it was always there and Superman wasn't contemporaries with the JSA." How does Goku's age change share any resemblance with this example beyond both of them being changes?

People misuse words all the time. Why do I have to reiterate why his age change isn't a retcon? You know what I believe. You either agree or you don't.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:58 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:03 pm
How was that appeal to authority? I haven't argued on the basis of credentials. I've given an argument about what I think are the essentials and examples. This is such an odd attempt to turn the argument back onto me.
Arguing from authority isn't just credentials, though. How is saying someone is misusing a word not arguing from authority, then? Who or what determines the essentials of a word and gives the basis for determining misuse, other than some form of authority? Since I'm a descriptivist when it comes to my understanding of language (or really, just English), it's clear to me that the only real authority we can say English has is how people use it. And, as I've shown, we've got at least 30 years of folks using retcon to describe retroactive changes that either do or do not invalidate prior continuity.
ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:03 pm
The mere fact that two definitions have been around for a while doesn't make them valid.
I absolutely disagree here. If a word is being used and understood under a certain definition, what basis do you have to say that definition is not valid? Language is not static, and words can and do come to mean more than they were originally made for.
ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:03 pm
The term came about because comics wanted to bring golden age continuity in to whatever the current continuity was and the audience had to just go with it like it was always the case. No explanation, no in-universe answer, no nothing. Just "shhh, let's pretend it was always there and Superman wasn't contemporaries with the JSA."
So is this the authority you're pulling from, then? Sounds to me like you're referring to Roy Thomas's work on All-Star Squadron. Yeah, it looks like that's how "retroactive continuity" got introduced to discussions on fiction. But by the time Damian Cugley shortened that to "retcon", it looks like it was understood (at least by him) to also account for cases where continuity was not broken. And why wouldn't he? Thomas's replacement of Golden Age DC and Moore's re-write of Swamp Thing's origin are the very least, if not "the same exact thing", related phenomena -- comic writers changing the established pasts of their work in order to open up new storytelling opportunities.
ABED wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:03 pm
How does Goku's age change share any resemblance with this example beyond both of them being changes?
Well, they're both changes that alter the audience's understanding of past events via contradicting established "truth". That's what I consider retcons to be, and it looks like I am not alone in my understanding of the term. Goku's age changing is absolutely trivial, for sure, and I think it's about as trivial as you could possibly get with a retcon. But it still fits the bill for a retcon, in my book, and I think I've demonstrated I have good reason to say it is.
Last edited by MetaMoss on Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:05 pm

TVfan721 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:32 pm
ABED wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:29 pm
Going back to 1999 in North America though, no, I don't think it would've worked well.
But it did. It was popular in syndication, which is why CN took notice. I think you are looking at this purely from your POV. While filler was talked about back in the 90s, it wasn't nearly as big of a sticking point as it was for many nowadays.
Apples and oranges. That version that was popular in syndication was the Saban dub which was heavily edited and had 13 episodes worth of filler and other footage removed.
MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:24 am
TVfan721 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:58 pm
I'm mentioning DBZ because of how much it dragged on due to the huge amount of filler. When you take a show like that and break it down to a once a week format, it becomes very hard to watch and stick through. Obviously, it wasn't an issue in Japan and the manga occurring at the same time as the anime played a role in that for sure. Going back to 1999 in North America though, no, I don't think it would've worked well. People would've lost interest and tuned out. If something like Dragon Ball Kai came along in 99 though, with no filler, and tight, fast-paced story telling with no filler, THAT would've worked in a once-a-week format just like it did on Toonzai in 2011. The original DBZ, as great as the high points are, drags on like a motherfucker, and when you split it up in a weekly format, it's unbearable.
Again if fans can wait through months of endless reruns without losing interest they could deal with only getting one new episode a week especially as that would result in less reruns.

You act like USA fans didn’t notice DBZ’s glacier pacing even back then. Not true. Even in the height of the show’s popularity in the US people were well aware that Dragon Ball Z could tend to be Drag-On Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z being a successful Japanese cartoon aimed at grade school boys that aired once a week with copious amounts of filler and padding isn’t even unique to DBZ. See Bleach, Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh, anything under the Shonen label really.
Those shows were never as popular as Dragon Ball Z was at the height of it's popularity. Dragon Ball Z was
a hit with everyone of all demographics and groups. It tapped into something that no other anime has been able to do and it's the reason why it's still a huge franchise 30 years later.
Why did you ignore Kunzait? He FINALLY gave you the answer you wanted... and you just ignore him. Are you really looking for an answer in good faith or just an echo chamber?
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by VegettoEX » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:10 pm

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:05 pm
Why did you ignore Kunzait? He FINALLY gave you the answer you wanted... and you just ignore him. Are you really looking for an answer in good faith or just an echo chamber?
Indeed. Please read the posts that are written, including and especially in this case, a Japanese fan explaining to you what's being asked about about Japan.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by Dr. Casey » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:12 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:58 pm
The only circumstance in which Goku's knowledge or lack thereof would be relevant to this conversation is if Toriyama originally wrote 14 purposely for Goku be wrong.

I will agree with MasenkoHA (and in fact, I said it in my earlier post) that we don't know for certain how this change came to be. We don't know if it was an actual change or not. Because of that, I don't know for sure if this is a retcon. However, I'd be willing to consider wagering large sums of money that this was an actual change and therefore a retcon. Even putting aside how very little advance planning Toriyama is known to do, the possibility of this actually being a reveal seems slim to none. I mean, what kind of payoff is that? What would even be the point in Toriyama lying about Goku's age? Do you honestly think Toriyama's sitting there going, "Oh, my gosh. My main character is 12, but I'm totally going to have him tell people he's 14 only to reveal later on that he was wrong! They'll never see it coming! It'll blow them away!"
While not exactly a massive plot twist, I actually think the age thing would have been a nice inclusion regardless as a bit of characterization for early series Goku. It's just one item in a list of items that helps to characterize Goku as an isolated mountain kid that knows almost nothing about anything.

Normally there would be no way of telling whether this was a minor example of a retcon or a deliberate plot twist, but I think it's probably the former based simply off the fact that whenever Toriyama wrote chapter two of the series, he was still thinking that the original hunt for the Dragon Ball would be the totality of the series.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by ABED » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:43 pm

Metamoss, I'm not going to take it point by point as it's a massive waste of both our times. We're never going to agree, especially if you claim someone pointing out a misuse of a word is "appeal to authority". That's not a logical fallacy. If you point out why someone is wrong, that's not a fallacious argument, it's just an argument.
Well, they're both changes that alter the audience's understanding of past events via contradicting established "truth". That's what I consider retcons to be, and it looks like I am not alone in my understanding of the term. Goku's age changing is absolutely trivial, for sure, and I think it's about as trivial as you could possibly get with a retcon. But it still fits the bill for a retcon, in my book, and I think I've demonstrated I have good reason to say it is.
Of course you think you have demonstrated a good reason to say it is, but here's where you go wrong, what you've explained is just a REVEAL. Reveals change the audience's understanding of a character or events. Goku's age doesn't fit the bill of a retcon because it doesn't change anything. What understanding was changed by making Goku two years younger? The definition you linked to is god awful because there's no discernible difference between a retcon and a reveal.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by TVfan721 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:18 pm

Not sure why this posted twice.
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by TVfan721 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:19 pm

VegettoEX wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:10 pm
Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:05 pm
Why did you ignore Kunzait? He FINALLY gave you the answer you wanted... and you just ignore him. Are you really looking for an answer in good faith or just an echo chamber?
Indeed. Please read the posts that are written, including and especially in this case, a Japanese fan explaining to you what's being asked about about Japan.
Um, I did read it? Because I didn't reply to it, that means I didn't read it? I read every post made in every thread I've made here over the past ten years. What exactly is there to reply to in his post? Multiple people in this thread have already stated the facts about the manga and that it was running simultaneously with the anime, making the filler and very slow pacing easier to cope with. He didn't answer anything that was already answered. I still maintain the belief that if DBZ aired in North America, once a week, with no filler cut, it would not have been as successful and would've turned fans off. That's what I believe and nothing in Kunzait's post even argues against that. I didn't even know Kunzait was from Japan.

As for the second part of his post about DBZ being released directly to DVD if a company like Pioneer had gotten the rights to it, instead of Funimation....I really don't know what that has to do with my OP. But to reply to it, I'd say DBZ would've been far less successful. The mainstream exposure on Cartoon Network and YTV here in Canada was a big part of why the show enjoyed the success it did in North America.

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Cure Dragon 255
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Re: It's actually amazing that DBZ was successful on Japanese TV

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:22 pm

To be fair I didnt know Kunzait was from Japan either...
AnimeMaakuo wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:38 am
Enjoy unboxing crap :thumbup:. Your continued support for crap will give us more crap for many years to come! :clap:.
90sDBZ wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:44 pm
19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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